English Language and Literature Postgraduate Programmes

Postgraduate Programmes in English Language and Literature
The philosophy of the MA and PhD programmes is to train and develop scholars whose critical inquiries into the use of the English Language as a medium of communication in L 2 situations in both regular communication and creative writing would reassert human values, and appreciate the complexity of human motivation and actions. This is against the background of societies (such as those in Africa) where anarchy and chaos threaten the existence of society, and where, as a panacea, writers respond to these in various writings that become the subject of serious study beyond the undergraduate content. The products of these programmes are therefore expected to acquire linguistic and critical analytic competences that would enable them exhibit a higher proficiency in the use of the English Language on a variety of discourse situations, as well as interpret literary works in the English Language.
Vision and Mission Statements
To provide the intellectual bulwark for the sound grasp of linguistic, literary and critical theories and their pragmatic application for the enhancement of language skills and excellent communication for the upliftment of humanity in general and national consciousness in particular 
  • To produce competent users of the English Language.
  • To sharpen the students’ literary sensibilities to enable them adequately to any literary stimulus
  • To produce students who can use their linguistic and communicative competence and literary awareness for effective literary appreciation, productive research and nation building.
Aims and Objectives
By exposing students to advanced knowledge in the English Language and Literature disciplines, the programme aims at producing scholars who would utilize their knowledge of the English Language and Literature in English, for human, national, African and global development. Such products would also be expected to apply their knowledge for the advancement of humanity, highlighting awareness especially through equipping and motivating them for a full and balanced development of their personality and the need for replication and the refinement of the same.
Career Prospects
Students who graduate successfully from the Department have continued to enrich the quality of Nigeria’s manpower in different professions such as Broadcasting, Journalism, Publishing, Public Relations, Arts and Culture, Civil and Private Administration, Teaching and research, Banking and Finance, Politics, etc. It is hoped that current students of the Department would work hard for successful achievements needed to perpetuate the enrichment of the nation’s manpower for sustainable development.
Staff Profile
Ifechelobi, Jane Nkechi
Ogbazi, Ifeyinwa Josephine
Chukwu, Ephraim Azoluwaehu
Ezenwa-Ohaeto, Ngozi
Okoye, Chike
OND (Mass Comm), HND (Broadcast) BA, MA, PhD
Ogene, Stephen Mbanefo
Ezeifeka, Chinwe RoseAnn
BEd, MEd, MA, PhD
Nnamdi-Eruchalu, I. Geraldine
Obiegbu, Ifeyinwa Rita
BA, MA, PhD, PGD (Pub Admin) MA (Pub Admin)
Senior Lecturer
Akujobi, Odochi Silver
Senior Lecturer
Odinye, Ifeoma Ezinne
BA, MA, MA (Chinese Phil.), PhD
Senior Lecturer
Ile, Onyebuchi James
Senior Lecturer
Anyanwu, Esther Chikaodi
B. ED, MA, PhD
Senior Lecturer
Adaoma Eugenia Igwedibia
Senior Lecturer
Emmanuel Chukwudi Ugwu
Senior Lecturer
Chinyeaka, Lauretta Okwuchukwu
Senior Lecturer
Admission Requirements
M.A. Programme
(i)     All candidates must possess the minimum of five O’ Level Credit Passes which must include    English Language and Literature in English.
(ii)    Candidates must possess a good Bachelor’s degree in English Language or English Literature, or B.A. Education / English or Linguistics not lower than a Second Class Lower division, from a recognized university.
(iii)   All candidates shall be subjected to a selection process
PhD Programme
Subject to the provisions of the University-wide regulations governing the admission of candidates into the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programme, applicants seeking admission into the PhD degree programme of the Department of English Language and Literature will be required to meet the following conditions:
  1. They should possess a Master’s degree in English language or Literature obtained from Nnamdi Azikiwe University or any approved university.
  2. Applicants who possess the qualifications stated in (i) above will be expected to have scored an FCGPA of not less than 3.5 (5-point scale) in the course work leading to the award of their master’s degree.
iii.     Candidates who hold qualifications other than (i) above acceptable to the University may be considered upon confirmation of the equivalence of such qualifications.
  1. To proceed further with the programme, candidates admitted into the PhD programme should work out with their nominated supervisors, within the first year of their admission, a proposal around their chosen topics. The candidates will, in addition, be required to defend the said proposal at the departmental postgraduate panel. This serves as a pre-condition for proceeding to independent research in their chosen areas of study.
Available Areas of Specialization
Candidates for the MA or PhD programme may specialize in any of the following general areas.
(i)     English Language
(ii)    Literary Studies
Duration of the Programmes
MA Programme
(i)     The Full-Time MA Programme would run a minimum of three semesters, and a maximum of four semesters.
(ii)    The Part Time MA Programme would run for a minimum of six semesters and maximum of eight semesters.
PhD Programme
(i)     The Full-Time PhD Programme would run for a minimum of six semesters, and a maximum of eight semesters,
(ii)    The Part-Time PhD Programme would run for a minimum of eight semesters and a maximum of ten semesters.
Total Required Credits for Graduation
MA Programme
To be awarded the MA degree in English Language or Literature, a candidate must have taken and passed the prescribed number of compulsory and required courses selected from the approved list, and totalling 39 units as follows:
Core/ Elective Courses                       30 Units
Thesis                                                  12 units
Total                                                   42 units
In all cases, MA students must write and submit to the Department, a thesis duly supervised by a lecturer in the Department whose qualifications are not below the Ph.D. Such a thesis must be defended before an external examiner nominated by the Department and appointed by Senate for that purpose.
PhD Programme
To graduate, all PhD candidates must take and pass all the requisite courses as prescribed in the PhD course list below:
Literature                    Language
Core Courses              12 Units                      12Units
Dissertation                 18 Units                      18 Units
Total                           30 Units                      30 Units
Every PhD candidate must submit a Dissertation on a chosen and approved topic, supervised by a member of the staff whose qualification is not below the PhD and who is not lower than Senior Lecturer in rank. The PhD thesis must be defended before an external examiner duly nominated for that purpose and appointed by Senate.
10 MA Programme: Courses Distribution: Literature Stress
First Semester:          Core Courses
Course Code
Course Title
Credit Units
ENG 851
Advanced Literary Theory and Critics
ENG 863
African -American and Caribbean Literature
ENG 871
Studies in African Fiction
ENG 891
Advanced Research Methods
(Electives Courses: Choose One)
Course Code Course Title   Credit Units:                          3
ENG 863         African-American and Caribbean Literature             3
ENG 871:        Studies in African Fiction                               3
ENG 891:        Advanced Research Methods                         3
ENG 853:        Popular Literature and the Mass Media         3
ENG 855         Advanced Creative Writing                            3
ENG 881:        Modern European Literature                          3
Total                                                                           15
Second Semester:      Core Courses
Course Code Course Title                           Credit Units
ENG 812:        Studies in Written African Poetry                  3
ENG 814:        Studies in Written African Drama                  3
ENG 852:        Comparative Literature                                   3
ENG 866:        Studies in Oral Literature                               3 
(Electives Courses: Choose One)
ENG 854: Commonwealth Literature                                    3
ENG 868: American Literature                                              3
ENG 880: Special Subject: Feminism & Gender (Literature Option                                                                                     3
ENG 882: Modern British Literature                                     3
Total                                                   –                                   15
Total for both Semesters                     –                                   30
ENG892: MA Thesis                          –                                   12
Grand Total                                       –                                   42
 MA Programme: Courses Distribution: Language Stress
First Semester:          Core Courses
Course Code              Course Title               Credit Units
ENG 821:                    Advanced English                               3
Phonetics and Phonology
ENG 823:                    Advanced English Syntax                   3
and Morphology of Present
– day English
ENG 825:                    Lexicology and                                   3
                                    Semantics of English
ENG 891:                    Advanced Research Methods             3
(Electives Courses: Choose One)
ENG 831:                    Translation                                          3
ENG 841:                    Sociolinguistics/Varieties of English  3
ENG 843:                    Pragmatics                                          3
Total                                                                                       15 
Second Semester:      Core Courses
Course Code              Course Title               Credit Units
ENG 812:                    Contrastive Linguistics                       3
ENG 842:                    The English Language in Nigeria       3
ENG 844:                    Advanced Stylistics                            3
ENG 846:                    Advanced Discourse Analysis            3
(Electives Courses: Choose One)
ENG 832: Psycholinguistics
ENG 834: English as a Second Language
ENG 880: Special Subject: Feminism & Gender Studies (Language & Gender)                                                      3
Total                                                                                       15
Total for both Semesters         –                                               30
ENG892: MA Thesis              –                                               12
Grand Total                           –                                               42
PhD Programme: Courses Distribution: Literature Stress
First Semester Core Courses
Course Code              Course Title               Credit Units
ENG 951:                    Methods and Techniques of Critical Discourse                                                                                  3
ENG 961:                    World Literatures in English             3
Total                           –                                                           6
Second Semester Core Courses 
ENG 962: Main Currents in African Literature                     3
ENG 992: Doctoral Seminar –                                               3
Total                                       –                                               6
Total for both Semesters         –                                               12
ENG 996: Dissertation            –                                               18
Grand Total                           –                                             30
PhD Programme: Courses Distribution: Language Stress
First Semester Core Courses
ENG 911: Advanced Linguistic Theory and Present Day English                            –                                                           3
ENG 941: English –Based Pidgins/Creoles and Decreolization                    –                                                                       3
Total                                       –                                               6
Second Semester Core Courses 
ENG 942: Language Therapy and National Development                                                    –                                               3
ENG 992: Doctoral Seminar –                                               3
Total                                       –                                               6
Total for both Semesters         –                                               12
ENG 996: Dissertation            –                                               18
Grand Total                           –                                               30
Course Descriptions for MA Programmes:
Course Descriptions: MA Courses: Literature Stress
ENG 851: Advanced Literary Theory and Criticism 3 Credits
The development of literary criticism and theory informs every aspect of literary studies especially at the postgraduate levels. This course will look at aspects of biography, chronology, sources, influences and bibliography in relation to literature, and on specific theoretical approaches to the study of literature. The intersections of literature and other disciplines that account for the diversities of critical studies and theories should also be examined. There will be an underscoring of the modern and contemporary periods as the melting pot of theories. The interaction of literature with philosophy, psychology, sociology, ideology, and the way literary theories are enriched by interdisciplinary thrust will be well grounded. Authors and texts will be studied from generic, periodical, regional and other dimensions and perspectives.
ENG 852: Issues in Comparative Literature                3 Credits
The concept and scope of comparative literature, dimensions of comparativism and separativism in literary studies, as well as factors that must be of central focus in bringing together authors and texts for comparison. It is important that the response of writers to ideas, socio-political development, and the literary tastes that go into the shaping of literature be highlighted in the course of teaching.
ENG 862: Studies in Written African Poetry               3 Credits
A critical study of African poetry from a detailed thematic and stylistic perspective will be the core of this course. Attention will be paid to African aesthetics in poetry. Selected poets will be studied intensively. These include Okot P. Bitek, Wole Soyinka, Christopher Okigbo, Kofi Awonoor, Jared Angira, Lenrie Peters, Leopold Senghor and more recent African poets such as Kofi Ayindoho, Niyi Osundare, Sipho Semphala, Funsho Aiyejina, Tanure Ojaide, etc.
ENG 864: Studies in Written African Drama              3 Credits
A study of the major works, playwrights, and theatre traditions in contemporary written African literature, the course will be an in-depth critique of the way playwrights appreciate and respond to the major historical, social, political, philosophical and moral issues in Africa. Emphasis will be placed on content and dramatic style. The major purpose is to sharpen the insight and intelligence with which we read the probing dramatic artifacts of the time. Authors to be studied include Wole Soyinka, Ngugi wa Thiongo, Athol Fugard, Sarif Easman, Femi Osofisan, Bode Sowande, Kole Omotosho, Ola Rotimi, Efua Sutherland, Ama Ata Aidoo, Zulu Sofola, Tess Onwueme, etc.
ENG 866: Studies in Oral Literature                             3 Credits
A study of orality in literature and of selected genres in African and other related traditions. This course will establish the historical and social contexts of oral literature. It is designed to present major patterns in oral literature with a special focus on African oral literature and performance. Issues and trends that will be highlighted include oral literary theories and oral narrative performance. The nature, form, transmission and delivery of African narratives will form a significant aspect of this course. The development of folklore with examples from authors like M. Parry will be underscored. The relationship between oral and written literature, and the function of oral literature in African Societies and methodology will be central.
ENG 871: Studies in African Fiction                             3 Credits
This course is an intensive study of African prose fiction in its various forms. The thrust of this course is the historical, sociological and contextual aspects of the genres of fiction. It is desirable that students transcend an analysis of aspects of fiction such as setting, thematic preoccupation and form. The course will prepare students for locating fiction in diverse milieu and antique of extra-literary determinants; including austerist ideology, social crucible and theoretical issues that provide for a comprehensive and advanced in-depth critical dispensation. This critical dispensation including less known texts, will enhance students’ literary perception. There will be an emphasis on modern and contemporary trends and peculiarities in the growth of fiction.
The contributions of authors whose works constitute landmarks in the growth of fiction is essential. Such authors include Henry James, Joseph Conrad, James Joyce, D.H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf. Others are Graham Greene, William Golding and Angus William.
ENG 883: African-American and Caribbean Literature     3 Credits
This course explores the concepts, causes, formations, preoccupations, styles and contents of writing influenced by black-centred hybridization of the Diaspora centred in the Caribbeans and the Negro Americas. The writers’ assertions of the humanity of the people of African ancestry is an issue of importance. Cross-cultural currents between Africa and the Black Diaspora and their unique settlements will provide points for investigation. Concepts and movements such as Negritude, Harlem Renaissance and Black Aesthetic form backdrops for these studies. Writers of importance include Mckay, Hughes, Baraka, Walcott, Braithwaite, Baldwin, Lamming, Naipaul Mais, Reid, etc.
ENG 891: Advanced Research Methods                       3 Credits
This course critically presents diversities of research methods and approaches. It will also expose students to the problems of research. Issues of emphasis include editing, authenticity, plagiarism, interpretation, original research and documentation. It equips students and prepares them for thesis writing.
Course Description: MA Courses: Language Stress
ENG 821: Advanced English Phonetics and Phonology       3 Credits
Advanced studies in the phonetics and phonology of English. Special attention should be paid to the history of phonological concepts, including the development of the phoneme and feature theories for segments and suprasegmentals. The sound systems of British and American English should be studied along with the description and analysis of sound segments, stress and intonation in English. Some current theories in phonetics and phonology should also be employed in phonetics and phonological descriptions.
ENG 822: Advanced English Grammar and Usage     3 Credits
Although students at this level, master’s degree, have studied grammar at their undergraduate level, their grasp of the grammar is still tenuous and they lack facility in applying grammar satisfactorily in their writing and speaking. This advanced course is specifically designed to boost their knowledge for better works at their postgraduate level and beyond. Its raison d’etre is on accuracy and fluency and meaningful use of structures in context, in various forms of discourse, both in speech and in writing. The course gives a brief review of structures taught in grammar at the undergraduate level and goes further in the survey of the structure of contemporary English grammar. It explores the usage problems associated with modern English grammar, speech and writing inclusive. Topics would include inter alia: the structure of English in the form of words, phrases, clauses and sentences, agreement errors, commonly confused and misused words, spelling, etc. Interactive exercises prepared dynamically to assess students for better learning outcome are also incorporated.
ENG 823: Advanced English Syntax and The Morphology of Present day English             3 Credits
This consists of detailed studies of new trend and various aspects of the grammar of English. The different models of grammar, with emphasis on the nature of the semantic component and transformations should be examined. Morphophoremics and an advanced study of the word form, lexeme and the morphological processes of English should also receive emphasis.
ENG 825: Lexicology and Semantics of English          3 Credits
This course will focus on the organization of meaning in English with particular reference to theories of sentence interpretation and of lexical analysis, with emphasis on the following: illocutionary acts, truth value conditions (presupposition, entailment, focus) predication and performative analysis. The general principles of lexicology, lexicography, and the attendant problems should receive due attention.
ENG 842: The English language in Nigeria                  3 Credits
A study of the history, role and nature of the English Language in Nigeria, especially the complex multilingualism is studied along with the influence of the English-based Pidgin and Nigerian
ENG 844: Advanced English Stylistics                          3 Credits
A study of the linguistics/stylistic features of spoken and written English (literary and non-literary) including the situational varieties of the language.
ENG 846: Advanced Discourse Analysis                       3 Credits
A study of current models for the description of English beyond the sentence unit. Concepts and theories of discourse, conversation and conversational analysis; data collection, transcription and analytical methods, critical discourse analyses of (literary, media, medicine, legal/forensic discourse, politics, gender, etc.)
ENG 848: Bilingualism and Multilingualism               3 Credits
Concepts and theories of bilingualism/multilingualism; measurement of bilingualism; acquisition, learning and use of bilingualism; challenges, opportunities and constraints of
bilingualism/multilingualism; and national development; language policy and planning in bilingual/multilingual state; effect of globalization, modernization and hybridization on language use in a bilingual/multilingual community. 
ENG 896: Thesis                                                            12 Credits
Completed thesis in respect of the MA degree should be submitted at least four months before the stipulated completion date which should correspond to the date of the viva voce.
Course Descriptions: PhD Programme – Language Stress
ENG 911: Advanced Linguistics Theory and Present Day English                         3 Credits
An advanced study of current models, versions and modifications of Linguistics Theories based on the structure of the same as theoretical framework for inquiry of Present Day English.
ENG 912: Applied Linguistics in English                      3 Credits
An advanced study of the English Language and the relationship between language and the brain/mind thought. This should include language performance, behaviour, comprehension and some aspects of neurolinguistics manifesting in speech impairment in English usage. Literacy problems and developments in multi-media in contemporary language teaching should also be studied.
ENG 941: English Based Pidgins/Creoles and Developments                                     3 Credits
The main thrust of this course is to expose students to the principles of language variety and to establish the two: Pidgin and Creole as varieties as well as distinct codes in their own right. Their origin in Nigeria, nature and form will be exposed. The course will equally focus on their roles in a multilingual setting as Nigeria. It also involves discreet distinction between Pidgin and Creole on the one side and such forms as ‘minimal pidgin’, broken English’ and ‘bad English’ on the other. Students should appreciate the structure of the two languages and be exposed to some linguistic description of them. The concept of creolization, decreolization and post-creole continuzum will also be areas of focus especially the various changes that occur when pidgins and creoles come in contact with the standard language.
ENG 942: Language Therapy and National Development    3 Credits
Combines aspects of Semiotics and Sociolinguistics affecting national development especially as language is the most effective means of human communication and also imperative for human participation in national development.
Course Descriptions: PhD Courses: Literature Stress
ENG 951: Methods and Techniques of Critical Discourse                                    3 Credits
Since the majority of Ph.D. students would normally work on the thesis that involve online analysis of literary texts, this course should focus on a higher level of the approaches treated under the course in literary theory and criticism in the M.A. programme. Advanced discussions on topics such as Structuralist, Poetics, Semiology, Semiotics, Reader-response Theory, Deconstruction, etc., should be handled.
ENG 952: Literature and Ideas                                     3 Credits
Beyond the preoccupation with themes in literary units, it is recognized that ideas make a primary input into creative literature. Beginning with the intellectual tradition of the West, which starts with the Classical period, the main ideas that have shaped literature in every epoch should be highlighted with specific examples drawn from major writings in major epochs and regions. The contributions of thinkers in the Classical periods of Greece and Rome, the Medieval, Elizabethan, Neoclassical, Romantic, Victorian, and Modern periods should feature. Topics such as Absurdism, Existentialism, Psychoanalysis, Surrealism, Realism, etc., should be discussed.
ENG 961: World Literatures in English                        3 Credits
A number of literatures have developed in locations where the history of the English Language has imposed it on writers as a tool for creative writing. Ph.D students need to be kept abreast of the diasporic character of English and its fall outs on the world of literary creativity. For comprehensive coverage, major samples should be selected from European, American, Black-American, Caribbean, Indian, Russian, Australian and African Literature. Care should however, be taken to avoid the repetition of works covered in the M.A. programme, except where the need for re-emphasis arises.
ENG 962: Main Currents in African Literature          3 Credits
This course should recognize similarities and disparities arising from literatures from the various regions of African: West, East, Central, South and North (the Maghreb) Africa. All the predominant genres in each region/sub-region should be examined, alongside the peculiarities arising from the colonial experiences that have showed alteration in Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone regions especially. The literature of Northern African should be considered, especially for the Arab and Islamic influences that have shaped it. The main thematic and stylistic trends that have emerged should also be highlighted.
ENG 992: Doctoral Seminar                                           3 Credits
A student should be assigned a seminar topic which should be well-researched and presented before the Departmental Board with other PhD students in attendance. This is compulsory for all the PhD students.
ENG 996: Dissertation                                                   18 Credits
Completed dissertations in respect of the PhD degree should be submitted at least four months before the stipulated completion date which should correspond to the date of the viva voce.